McCannell formalizes commitment to play for BSU
Friday, April 18, 2008

BEMIDJI, Minn. - Bemidji State University head volleyball coach Laurie Bitter announced today the signing of one more player to her 2008 recruiting class. Jessi-Beth McCannell of Brandon, Manitoba becomes the sixth student-athlete to sign a National Letter of Intent to join the BSU program for the 2008-09 academic year.

The late signing period for NCAA college volleyball programs started on April 9. McCannell joins Bemidji High School standout Courtney Bitter along with, Kimberly Hacker (Hutchinson, Minn.), Laura Slinger (Fairbult, Minn.), Melissa McNeely (Burnsville, Minn.) and Erikka Korpi (Maple Grove, Minn.) who all signed during the Nov. 14-21 early period.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to bring in the talent I did for my first recruiting class,” commented Bitter. “I am extremely excited about our six signees because they are all very talented players who have been part of championship teams. These girls are all great kids who have the ability to help the Bemidji State University volleyball program get up to the next level.”

McCannell was a three sport athlete at Neelin High School and was part of five championship teams for the Spartans. Her high school volleyball team won three AAA provincial championships while she was also a member of two AAA championship basketball teams. She earned tournament Most Valuable Player during the 2007-08 season and was an Honorable Mention top 10 volleyball player in the Province of Manitoba during her senior season. McCannell has also excelled off the court as she has been a consistent member of the Neelin High School Academic Honor Roll.

“She is a quick defensive player who fit our need of another defensive player that will help out in the back row. Jessi-Beth is going to be a nice addition to our roster. She is fundamentally a very athletic girl who has great hands and is very fast. She will be a nice addition to the back row for us next fall.”

Her connections to BSU run deep. Her dad, Daryle, played for the BSU hockey team from 1971-72 and was also a member of the Beavers baseball team while her sister Kathryn played volleyball for BSU during the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

Bemidji State, located in Bemidji, Minn., is a member of the NCAA Division II and competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The BSU volleyball team is coming off a season in which it posted an overall record of 10-17 and finished the NSIC season in eighth place with a mark of 6-12.